Perhaps I was exposed to one too many kitten-in-a-tree "Hang in there, baby" posters during my grade school years in the 1970s, but I'm not today one of those people who responds well to overtly motivational messages; the Demotivators® from Despair.com are better-suited to my temperament. Nevertheless, every so often I come across a factoid which I feel the need to mentally file away for future inspiration.
The excellent ContractsProf Blog noted the anniversary of the completion of Michelangelo's painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (although a few sources, including both Wikipedia and About.com, dispute the Profs' referenced date and indicate that their anniversary is of the start of the painting, rather than its completion). What I had not known about Michelangelo's work, long noted as one of the greatest achievements of the Renaissance, was that it was "the sculptor's first attempt at painting frescoes".
When presented with opportunities to work beyond their comfort zones and demonstrated areas of expertise, talented people can produce masterpieces.